The New Hampshire House has approved an adult-use cannabis legalization bill for the third time in as many years, New Hampshire Public Radio reports. The measure was approved by a veto-proof two-thirds majority, but it does not include regulated sales.
Under the proposal, adults 21-and-older would be allowed to possess up to 3/4 of an ounce and grow up to six plants. In 2017, New Hampshire approved decriminalization legislation up to 3/4 of an ounce of flower and five grams of concentrates for adults 18-and-older.
In 2018, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said he would veto any adult-use legislation approved by lawmakers “regardless of what the language looks like” – which is why the veto-proof majority in the House is particularly important; although the Senate would need to pass the measure by the same margin to prevent the governor from sending it back to the legislature. Sununu remains opposed to broad legalization, but lawmakers believe he might support a measure that doesn’t include sales, according to NHPR.
Last session, the governor vetoed legislation that would have allowed registered patients to home-cultivate up to three cannabis plants. In his veto message, Sununu said that allowing patients to grow their own cannabis would “make the job of law enforcement significantly more difficult,” and that it could reduce the number of patients purchasing cannabis from the state’s dispensaries, according to NHPR.
In 2018, the House passed the legalization bill by a 207-139 vote; in 2019 that margin was 209-147. Both bills stalled in the Senate.
A 2018 report from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration estimates that with a 15 percent sales tax on cannabis sales, the state could expect between $26.7 million and $58 million in tax revenues.
The legalization measure moves next to the Senate.
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